COMMUNICATING THE VALUE OF AN EMS FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

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Abstract:

Today, public utilities are seeking methods of optimizing performance, improving internal and external customer service, implementing best practices for quality products and developing “high performance” staff teams. The need to meet increased regulatory requirements coupled with the need to keep costs competitive, drive utilities to apply management tools and programs to improve performance. One such management tool and program is an Environmental Management System (EMS). A successful EMS depends on the ability of employees to understand the tool it provides to improve work processes, enhance training and provide quality, competitive products.

Developing an effective EMS is often difficult and time – consuming. Aside from the time demands of development and implementation motivating staff below the management level to embrace the program and understand its value as a tool is a far greater challenge. Employees will often view an EMS as a large, nebulous monster of procedures and performance measures. OR, even worse, they will view it as another special project pushed by management that adds little to no value to their day-to-day work responsibilities. To gain the true benefits of an EMS, employees involved in the program must understand and value the program and understand how they contribute to successful improvement within the organization.

This paper will discuss methods and techniques for motivating employees to better understand the value of an EMS and how to use a complex management tool to improve their daily work processes and affect product and service quality. Specifically, this paper will highlight a component of two types of Environmental Management Systems – a Biosolids EMS and a cMOM Program – and how employees were motivated by their successes for improved biosolids and collection systems management.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864704784341911

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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